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Young Mo (Roy Rene)

'The artist's notebook'

An interview with Australian artist and collector of quirky artefacts, Martin Sharp.

Interview with Martin Sharp
Video: 2 minutes

Martin Sharp: I was asked to do a poster by Richard Wherrett for a Nimrod Theatre production of Portrait of Young Mo something, something, a very, very long title. And it was so much in the title you couldn’t even fit it on the poster, so I decided just do a picture of Mo and title it Nimrod, and it spoke for itself.

Who do I think was the actor? What was he like? He was always Mo, in that very distinctive makeup.

I can’t type, I have to say, so … and I do like letters. Now, where’s that “g”, you know? And there’s three different rows, and it could be anywhere on there.

I agree with Joseph Campbell who said that an artist’s job is to make visible the invisible. Acknowledge certain things or express certain things.

I have noticed I am a collector, and in this room I’ve got my career. I’m always reminding myself of various things as I look around the room, sort of like a bit of a notebook that I can see all at once. And that always inspires me. I’m always trying to tidy up and sort things out, and I think art is just about tidying up, really. And to tidy up you’ve got to make a mess, you know?

Is that true… ?